Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Daily Rhythm In A Little Village In The Auvergne

Untitled
And just like that, the summer weeks here in the Auvergne are slipping by.  My family and I spend the time taking walks through the countryside when the skies are blue,
Untitled
stop the car by the side of the road to admire the cloud formations 
and the silhouette of the Chain of Volcanoes,
Untitled
or close the windows and doors of the house to stay dry and warm when a storm approaches.
Untitled
On some mornings, we need to light a fire in the small wood stove.
Untitled
Sometimes, we sit by the big fireplace till late into the night.
Untitled
The biggest excitement in a day may well be a few cows being led from one grazing spot to the other.

Herding them is actually not as easy as one may think.  Take a look.
Untitled
Of course, this year, as in years past, we have big and small projects to complete on our 1866 stone farmhouse.  After we had the roof totally rebuilt last year, we found a local artisan who pierced through the thick walls in the attic, to add two window openings.

Untitled
He used reclaimed granite stones,
Untitled
which perfectly match the existing window openings. The new ones look as though they have always been there.
Untitled
All we need now are windows, before fall arrives.
Untitled
This is the view we gained from the attic. Do you see the famous Puy de Dome volcano in the distance?
Untitled
Here is a close-up, taken just as the sun is setting on a perfect day.
Untitled
Many hours are spent in the garden, taming the wilderness that surround us.
Untitled
Every year, I plant more, hoping that one day, I will have a real flower garden, one that thrives on neglect. I think I am making progress, no?
Untitled
It represents a lot of trial and error, but I am getting better at choosing plants that will survive at 800 meter altitude.  That includes lavender,
Untitled
and Rose Campion, which is multiplying happily in the flower beds.
Untitled
These daisies obviously like it here as well.
Untitled
I am particularly proud of my Jasmin, which was covered with blooms this year. Its scent was intoxicating.
Untitled
All the flowers mean that there are always vases filled with bouquets inside the house.
Untitled
In between guests, my husband and I never manage to sit down to relax for long.  There is maintenance to be done on doors and windows,
Untitled
and rooms to be painted.  This year, we removed wood cladding that my father put up in the mid- 1980s in what used to be the kids' room.
Untitled
Underneath, we found
Untitled
old wallpaper that he and my mother hung on those same walls in the 1970s.  It brought back a flood of memories, pealing away the years one layer at a time.
Untitled
Getting rid of all the wood from the room meant several trips to the dump.
Untitled
The result was worth all the hard work.  Here is the same corner of the room freshly sparkled and painted. Next, the wood floor will be sanded, but it may have to wait till next year.
Untitled
Now that it is August, guests are arriving and with that, I will be spending more time making meals in my little country kitchen. I don't mind cooking at all, as long as it means that I can shop at the local farmer's markets around here.
Untitled
Just look at all this wonderful local cheese.
Untitled
And these just-laid eggs from my friend's hens.
Untitled
I hope that your summer is going well and that you have been able to get away from the heat and the noise of New York City for a bit.

(This summer, I have been posting more photos as PardonMeForAsking on Instagram. Pop on over there for more frequent updates while I am here in the Auvergne.)


4 comments:

Jim said...

Livin' the dream.

MrsSam said...

Greetings Katia,

I see you and Mr. Pardon Me are yet again hard at work! Stunningly beautiful the results are!!! Seems the house keeps absorbing all the love you put in (notwithstanding the overgrowth of course). Oh how I'd love to be sitting at your table right about now! Hope you get to rest after the guests leave! Have a sip for me, dear friend!

Katia said...

The bottle is open and I will most certainly drink a glass for you.
Miss you, Mrs. Sam

Andrew Porter said...

I am so envious of you. Wonderful photos, and a wonderful house and garden. At least we get to see a bit of your life in this place, so different than here in Brooklyn!